Some sweet was mixed in with the bitter for three North Shore swimmers at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
Olivia Smoliga will be going to Rio de Janerio on Aug. 5-21 after qualifying for the games for the first time. The ex-Glenbrook South star advanced in the 100-meter backstroke.
Loyola Academy grad Connor Dwyer will be heading to his second Olympics. The Winnetka native, a former member of the Lake Forest Swim Club, made it in two individual events: 200-meter freestyle and 400 free.
Meanwhile, six-time Olympic medalist Matt Grevers was unable to make a return trip.
The pool in Omaha was loaded with The North Shore Weekend/DailyNorthShore.com area swimmers.
Here’s a rundown of the locals:
The Glenbrook South graduate, who swims for the University of Georgia, went in with the No. 1 ranking in the 100-meter backstroke. And Smoliga lived up to the billing by winning the final in 59.02 on June 28 to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Kathleen Baker was second in 59.29.
Smoliga, who competed for the Glenview Titan Aquatic Club under coach Steve Iida, has been a backstroke star for some time. In 2013, she set a national record and won the short course world championship in the 100 back. The rising junior currently holds Georgia’s school record in the event.
Smoliga also competed in the 50 free and 100 free at the Trials. She came in fourth in the 50 free finals (24.70) on July 3. And in the 100 free, she didn’t make the finals despite having the 10th best time in the preliminaries (54.62).
Earlier this year, Smoliga won both sprints at the NCAA Championships.
Dwyer will be busy in Rio.
He opened the Trials by earning a silver medal (3:44.66) in the 400-meter freestyle on June 26. He was second in the 400 free at the 2012 Trials.
Dwyer also took care of business in the 200 free on June 28. He was clocked in 1:45.67 and just missed beating Townley Haas (1:45.66).
The 27-year-old has been at the elite level for some time. Dwyer, who finished his college career (Iowa and Florida) with 12 All-America honors and three NCAA titles (two individual, one relay), earned a gold medal in the 4×200 relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Dwyer also eyed medals in the 100 free and 200 IM at the Trials. He placed eighth in the 100 free (49.13), while he didn’t qualify to the 200 IM finals.
Grevers made news at the Trials on June 28. The wrong kind. He didn’t win the 100-meter backstroke, finishing third (52.72) behind Ryan Murphy (52.26) and David Plummer (52.28).
The former Lake Forest Swim Club sensation, who set three state records during his days at Lake Forest High School and earned 27 All-America honors at Northwestern University, is the reigning Olympic champion in the 100 back — earning a gold medal in the 2012 Games in London.
The 31-year star, who is a six-time Olympic medalist (4 golds, 2 silvers in three events: 100 back, 400 medley relay and 400 free relay), also didn’t make it out in 100 free, 200 back and 50 free.
The New Trier grad, who swims at USC, placed 15th in the 200-meter free semifinals (1:48.85) while just missing the finals in the 400 free (3:50.73).
Malone recently finished his junior season with the Trojans. The All-American took fifth in the 200-yard free (1:32.54) and third in 500-yard free (4:12.55) at the 2016 NCAA Championships in Atlanta in March.
Pyshnenko, who will be a senior at Lake Forest High School, turned in solid work at the Trials. She ended up with the 21st fastest time in the 50-yard free prelims (25.60) on July 2.
She entered the event ranked 39th (25.68).
At last year’s IHSA state meet, Pyshnenko won the 50-yard free (22.59) and 100 free (49.77).
Like Pyshnenko, Wall, who swims for the New Trier Swim Club, did better than her ranking (111th) in the 50 free. Wall placed 99th in 26.34.
Son of Glenview Titan Aquatic Club coach Steve Iida, this rising high school senior qualified to the Trials in two events: 200 IM and 400 IM.
On June 26, Iida finished 27th in the 400 IM in 4:24.71. Then, on June 30, he placed 50th in the 200 IM (2:05.10). Ryan Lochte won the 200 IM gold in 1:58.05.
At the 2016 IHSA state meet, Iida took runner-up honors in two events: 500 free and 200 IM. At the 2015 state meet, he placed first in the 500 free and second in the 200 IM.
A two-time All-American and Big Ten champion in the 800 freestyle relay for the University of Michigan, Mangan qualified to the Trials in three events: 100 back, 100 free and 200 back. At the Trials, the New Trier graduate was timed in 56.73 in the 100 back (72nd) and 51.33 in the 100 free (77th). His best effort came on June 30, when he placed 51st in the 200 back (2:03.35).
The Winnetka native, who swims for USC, made it to the Trials in the 200 breaststroke. The New Trier Swim Club alum finished 81st in 2:36.02.
The Lake Forest High School grad, who will swim at Notre Dame next season, placed 71st overall in the 400 free (4:20.21) on June 27.
At the IHSA state meet last fall, Lanigan claimed runner-up honors in the 200 IM and 200 free.
Tierney, who will be a senior at Loyola Academy this fall, ended up 88th in the 400 free (4:22.54) on June 27.
At last year’s IHSA state meet, Tierney finished in a tie for third in the 200 IM and a tie for fifth in the 500 free.
A four-time state champ in high school — 50 free, 100 back and 100 butterfly (twice) — the ex-Loyola Academy standout, who will be a senior at Northwestern, competed in the 100-meter backstroke at the Trials (57.66, 141st place) on June 27.
The Loyola Academy grad, who will swim at the University of Illinois, earned a berth to the Trials in the 100-meter backstroke. On June 27, she recorded a time of 1:04.47 (132nd place).